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Booked at Orlando Prison, Paul Miller Files Appeal of Conviction on Flagler Beach Murder

| July 2, 2013

Paul Miller's mug shot by the Florida prison system as he was booked at the Central Florida Reception Center.

Paul Miller’s mug shot by the Florida prison system as he was booked at the Central Florida Reception Center.

Paul Miller, formerly of Flagler Beach, has filed an appeal of his May conviction for the murder of his neighbor Dana Mulhall last year. The appeal was filed by his Daytona Beach attorneys at Williams Jarosz, who represented him through the trial phase. But it will be handled by the Public Defender’s Office. The court order for a public defender was filed today (July 2).

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Miller was found guilty of second degree murder at the end of a five-day trial on May 24 in Flagler County Circuit Court. Judge J. David Walsh sentenced Miller, who is 66, to life in prison without parole on June 18.

Miller owns the house on South Flagler Avenue where he’d stood, on his front lawn, to shoot Mulhall, who was in the adjacent yard, across a fence. Miller had been out on $300,000 bail before and during the trial, after spending several weeks at the Flagler County jail while his family collected money to bail him out. He was booked back into the Flagler jail shortly after the guilty verdict was pronounced. As a convicted felon serving more than 365 days, he had to be transferred out of the county jail.

Last week Miller was transferred to his first stop in the Florida prison system. He was booked into the so-called Central Florida Reception System on Kelley Road, some 10 miles east of Orlando International Airport, on State Road 528, also known as the Beachline. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to the road by its previous name, the Beeline.)

The prison, known as CFRC, is a 25-year-old facility. It houses up to 1,659 inmates, all adult men, and is wheelchair and hearing impaired capable. Miller will be one of a number of inmates sentenced to life. The facility provides a 100-hour transition program and anger management.

Miller will remain at that prison several weeks, possibly a few months, before he is permanently assigned to any one of the 55 prisons (including seven private prisons) that form the sprawling Florida Department of Corrections archipelago. He will be one of 100,000 inmates in the prison system.

“The majority of Florida’s state-run prisons are not air conditioned,” the department writes on its quick-facts page, but private prisons are. (There is also no cable television, it notes on its myths page.) Miller suffers from various ailments, according to his wife, who described them at various stages of the court proceedings, including emphysema, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, trouble walking, and arthritis. Miller was a long-time smoker, and a carpenter.

Paul Miller during his trial. (© FlaglerLive)

Paul Miller during his trial. (© FlaglerLive)

The prison system does not necessarily take account of a family’s location when placing inmates. That CFRC is in region 3 (the prison system has a total of three regions), which includes all of Florida from its mid-section south, does not necessarily mean that Miller will end up in one of the 19 non-reception prisons in that zone. All three of Florida’s “reception” center prisons are in Region 3. Tomoka prison, the nearest state prison to Flagler Beach (some 10 miles west of Daytona Beach, on Tiger Bay Road), is in Region 2.

In his prison mug shot, his sandy-white had been shaved and he appeared gaunt and perhaps puzzled. His booking information notes a tattoo of Tennessee on his left arm. Miller is originally from Tennessee. And the tattoo of a cross on his right arm.

It was only during the sentencing hearing that Miller spoke any words of regret for the few seconds in the early evening of March 14, 2012, when, as he and Mulhall argued about Miller’s barking dogs, Miller pulled a gun from behind his back and shot Mulhall five times, though Mulhall was unarmed, on his side of the fence, and running away from it.

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21 Responses for “Booked at Orlando Prison, Paul Miller Files Appeal of Conviction on Flagler Beach Murder”

  1. notasenior says:

    Want a defense – sell the house!

  2. John Boy says:

    Why are the taxpayers being held accountable for his appeal costs. He owns a house, sell it. His wife will still get SS and Medicare. He needs to punished for his actions, the taxpayers should not be punished by being forced to pay for his appeal.

    • Nancy N. says:

      It wouldn’t be Mr Miller that would be punished by the sale of the house. In all likelihood he will never set foot in it again. It would be MRS Miller being punished by the loss of what is now HER home. She has done nothing wrong and is just an innocent victim of her husband’s actions. She will suffer the rest of her life for what her husband has done. Leave her in peace to try to rebuild what is left of her life after her husband destroyed it.

    • Nancy N. says:

      Oh, and Mrs Miller may not still be getting Social Security. If she has no work history of her own (or not enough to qualify for SS) and was collecting as Mr Millers spouse, he is no longer eligible for benefits since being convicted. So her check either dropped or disappeared entirely.

  3. A.S.F. says:

    Sad, sad story all around but especially sad for the Mulhall family who will never be able to see or touch their loved one again. It looks like Mr. Miller may never understand (or be able to come to terms with) the full implications or consequences of his crime. My guess is that Mr. Miller had some personality issues before this crime occured and it is very unfortunate that they were not dealt with in a way that might have prevented this terrible tragedy.

  4. mikeylikesit says:

    An appeal based on what? Maybe based on poor legal representation. Wouldn’t that be ironic that his current lawyers file that then hand it off to a public defender. It boggles the mind to guess how an admittedly guilty individual can blame his attorneys for his conviction. Just more waste of our tax dollars.

    • Will says:

      I didn’t see anything in the article about him blaming poor legal representation. Before griping about wasting tax dollars, maybe we should wait to see what grounds are claimed for the appeal.

  5. hhfhfhfhhfhf says:

    FREE MR.MILLER hes a old man that was scared for his life in my option

  6. RG says:

    The devils work never goes unpunished.

  7. Geezer says:

    What a shame that this tragedy transpired between next-door neighbors.
    I suspect that if both parties were polite and considerate to each other – this
    would not have happened.

    Over many months there were many angry words exchanged between these men
    before Mr. Miller finally shot Mr. Mulhall.
    The things that were said only set the stage for Mr. Miller’s ultimate eruption.

    The police should have been involved in this ongoing dispute from day one.
    Look at what happened here….A double tragedy.

    If you have trouble with a neighbor and can’t resolve it calmly – do yourself a favor and
    summon a deputy to document the situation. Don’t let it fester like Mulhall vs Miller.

  8. Jennifer Lopez says:

    Very Sad

  9. Nancy N. says:

    Your information about the reception centers at FL DOC is incorrect. There are four reception centers in the FL DOC region, and each of the DOC regions has at least one. There is SFRC, in the Miami area; CFRC, in the Orlando area; RMC, which is in Lake Butler; and NWFRC, which is in Washington County in the panhandle.

    In addition to receiving all new DOC inmates sentenced from counties in their regions, the reception centers also serve as transit centers for inmates in their regions. Tomoka, while technically in Region 2, is actually served by the CFRC center in Region 3 because of a quirk of the way region lines have been redrawn over time by DOC.

    When Mr. Miller completes his intake evaluations at CFRC, he will likely be moved across the road to CFRC-East, which serves as a holding area for transit at CFRC, to await his transfer to a permanent facility. In all likelihood, because of the placement of DOC’s camps versus where they receive their population from, he will end up somewhere north of here in North Florida or the panhandle, unless DOC opts to place him in the specialty camp for elderly inmates in Zephyr Hills. DOC takes absolutely NO account of the location of family or their ability to travel to visit when placing inmates. In fact, if you push for a placement close to home during the inmate’s reception process anecdotal evidence suggests that it will get an inmate placed further from home. DOC gives a lot of lip service to families and their importance in rehabilitation but the reality is far from the pretty picture they paint. DOC is in the business of purposely breaking up families. They use visitation suspensions as punishment when they want to control an inmate.

    Mr Miller can expect to have his life severely shortened by DOC by lack of proper care to his medical conditions as well as the harsh living conditions. No a/c, or often even fans to move air, lack of adequate access to even drinking water at times to deal with the heat. In the winter, the buildings are freezing and the inmates are not provided winter clothes or anything but one single blanket for their bed. The diet is almost completely soy products and there is very little food. Inmates are allowed about 3 minutes to eat their meal. Mr Miller will likely lose a massive amount of weight.

    Conditions in our prisons are atrocious – inmates live in bug infested, leaking buildings with inadequate nutrition and medical care. They receive little to no rehabilitation. The system turns them into animals and then turns them loose on the streets. Is it any wonder most of them can’t get straight and end up going back?

    • Kathleen S. says:

      Thank you for your statements clarifying the actual prison system intake procedure and the state of the inmates. I have had very little to do with the criminal scene but have often wondered how it is that so many people end up back in prison if they were “rehabilitated”. I am currently in a college paralegal program and will find a job in a lawyer’s office next year after graduation. I was looking for the type of work I would like to do, and perhaps it is to help people who find themselves wrapped up in this system. I do not in any way condone what Mr. Miller did, it was a crime of anger and he needs to pay for it, however, a system that will starve him and make him even more angry is not something I want to see continue. Change only happens one person at a time in my opinion, and this type of system doesn’t appear to change criminals for the better. Perhaps I will look into a job with something like the Innocence Project to help get people out of prison who don’t belong there.

  10. Nancy N. says:

    Oh, and Mr. Miller should be praying that he DOESN’T get sent to Tomoka, no matter how close to home it is. That camp is a HIV/Psych specialty camp and it is completely off the chain. He wouldn’t last 10 minutes in the place.

  11. michellenaz says:

    You people think you know the truth. You think you know the person but you don’t know much at all. EVERYONE that had an opinion of what happened and who Paul Miller is really has only heard what you wanted to hear or read. Only what sounds more dramatic, not true circumstances, not what the news papers won’t write because it might just make him seem as though he WAS defending himself. But let’s make this about barking dogs and a crazy hillbilly filled with hatred that just felt like shooting a man that was an angel sent from heaven above that day. There was not a chance that he would get a fair trial in your small tight community. The newspapers did not get the information from the Miller’s but made sure to speak with the prosecution on several occasions. It is easy to sit back in your rocking chair and spew your thoughts online but remember you don’t really know what happens in these stories, and when you talk about a person you don’t know anything about it hurts the ones that might love that person and that knows who that man REALLY is.

    • Nancy N. says:

      It’s not just in this community. It happens everywhere because of how the media handles coverage of these things.

      Prosecutors and police talk to the media freely, and police reports, which are usually crafted to only contain evidence that is considered damaging to the defendant, are public record. (Neutral investigations are a myth. They pick a target and look for proof. Police reports are basically arguments crafted in support of the DA’s charging, not actual neutral investigative reports.)

      Media selectively determine what to print – they may print early allegations made against a defendant in a police report and then not print a later lab report disproving them because they deem it “not newsworthy.”

      While the media is feeding off the prosecution and police’s version of the events to summarily convict the defendant, legal necessity usually prevents the defendant from getting their version of events out in any meaningful way. They have to keep their mouth shut and talk to no one.

      Anyone who thinks they are getting the truth of a criminal case from the media are sorely mistaken.

    • Geezer says:

      110% true…

  12. A.S.F. says:

    Michellenaz–I can guess from the tone of what you have written that you either are, or feel close to, the family of Mr. Miller. I feel sorry for what you are going through. It is a sad waste of of the rest of Mr. Miller’s life and his family must be in a lot of pain. However, let’s not forget that Mr. Miller shot a fleeing indiividual in the back while he was trying to crawl to the safety of his own home. I truly do regret that someone who might have cared about Mr. Miller (and who knew about these ongoing issues with his neighbor) did not have the foresight to disarm him. At least Mr Miller’s family can still fight for him and visit him in prison–not so for the family and friends of Mr. Mulhall. (who nobody is calling an angel.) Calling “911” and saying “I shot his f***ing ass” says a lot about Mr. Miller.. Now, unfortunately, he will have no choice but to be controlled, from the outside in. What a tragedy for all involved!

    • Geezer says:

      The acrimony and stress between these two men built up to a point where one of them
      was going to snap. If you poke and prod someone enough, they will go “Postal.”
      Mr. Miller didn’t shoot his neighbor just because he was a “northerner.”
      It took two to tango here. However Mr. Mulhall’s death was still an inexcusable murder.

      As I’ve said before in earlier posts: this situation went too far, and law enforcement should
      have been called in to speak to both of these fellows, and advise them how to proceed
      legally with their ongoing dispute.

      This feud just escalated and escalated. The higher you go, the harder the fall later on.

  13. AMOS says:

    This is a An Absolute Tragedy !!!! We Did Not know Mr. Miller, But We Did Know Dana. He was a Smart Ass, A bit arrogant but A threat to Anyone, other than Words , “NOT” !!!! Mr. Miller had the Choice of Going Back into His Home(SAFE ZONE) or Doing The “STUPID”, ReConfronting Dana & Shooting Him as He Was retreating!!!(IN THE BACK) While All of Us Feel this Was a Tragic Event, Sorry Mr. Miller, You Made a Very Poor Decision & It’s Time For YOU To Pay For Your Very Grim “MISTAKE”!!!!! You Not Only HURT People You Dont Know, You HURT Peolple You Know and are Loved By !!!! Live By the Sword, Die by the Sword !!! Hope You Enjoy Your Stay at The State Bed & Breakfast !!!!!!!! May The Good Lord Have Mercy On Your Soul, Your Gonna need It !!!!!!

    • Becca H says:

      So what, maybe you want to appeal due to illness..Well Dana does not get to breathe again due to you. I do not feel sorry for these people at all…I feel sad for the Mulhalls whom will never get to see their Son, Brother, Uncle, Cousin…etc…yah, she gets SS…..ask her…

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